CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – 11 players scored and no Lady Eagle played more than 22 minutes as Carson-Newman held a lead in the third quarter before falling to North Carolina 96-70 in an exhibition game at Carmichael Arena Wednesday evening.
"For two and a half quarters, I was very proud of our basketball team," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "I told them before the game. I think we are really good as long as we stay healthy. We had prepared for a lot of the things that we thought Carolina was going to throw at us. They tried to make it an up-and-down affair. We shot it well and we scored. They went to a 3-2 zone and we quit making shots. They did what they were supposed to do and that was to make shots."
After North Carolina won the opening tip-off and turned the ball over, sophomore Mika Wester (Newport, Tenn.) converted a layup to get the game started as C-N scored nine of the first 13 points of the night. UNC took its first lead of the contest on two foul shots from Jamie Cherry to make it 18-16 with 4:04 to play. Following a jumper from Paris Kea, the Lady Eagles scored nine of the final 11 points to hold a 25-22 lead after the first 10 minutes of action.
Overall the first half saw seven ties and five lead changes. With the score tied at 32, redshirt-junior Katie Stubblefield (Alcoa, Tenn.) converted a three-point play and freshman Tori Griffin (Jefferson City, Tenn.) hit a triple to put the visitors ahead by six points. After the lead went to eight points, UNC scored four points in the final 22 seconds to pull with a 43-39 score at the break.
All 11 players that entered the contest for the Lady Eagles scored as no one scored more than junior Jecca Simerly's (Talbott, Tenn.) eight points. Stephanie Watts led all players with 10 points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
The Lady Eagles held a 52-50 lead with 4:19 to play in the third quarter only to see the Tar Heels score 13 of the final 15 points of the stanza to take a 63-54 advantage into the fourth quarter. C-N went 5-for-20 from the floor in the period.
North Carolina outscored Carson-Newman 33-16 in the final quarter making nine of 19 field-goal attempts while forcing eight turnovers to take final control of a 26-point victory.
A pair of players finished in double figures for the Lady Eagles. Senior Kaitlyn Cupples (Clinton, Tenn.) ended with 11 points and four rebounds. Wester ended the night with 11 points and three rebounds.
UNC was led by 23 points and nine rebounds from freshman Taylor Koenen. Stephanie Watts added 22 points and 11 boards and Jamie Cherry chipped in 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
The Lady Eagles are back in action Monday night at 7 p.m. when they travel to Knoxville to face the University of Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena. The game will be broadcast on the Eagle Sports Network beginning at 6:45 p.m. with the Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to Tip-Off on 106.3 WPFT-FM and cneagles.com/live.